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Icelandic: Grammar, Text and Glossary - Stefan Einarsson

Icelandic: Grammar, Text and Glossary

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Stefan Einarsson

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Pages: 576 (Paperback)

ISBN: 0801863570

Pub: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Pub date: 2000-12-31

Amazon.co.uk Sales Rank: 294224

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Reader Reviews:


5/5 stars

Excellent book! (31/31 people found this helpful)

I begin with telling this is not a book for beginners. To grab the basics, buy Daisy L. Neijmann's Colloquial Icelandic. After you have completed that, this book will become your ultimate authority on this difficult but beautiful language. The reason for that is, this book assumes you have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of language in general, needed for learning the Icelandic language as well. The Colloquial Icelandic book introduces you this very gradually, whereas it is presented in bigger fragments in Stefán Einarsson's book.
The book is: very good-looking, very thick, very complete. However, is also very old (written around the second world war), so for newer words, you have to look elsewhere. This said, its biggest impediment is also its biggest advantage: everything is presented in a very thorough way (like only could have been done long ago), accompanied by beautiful pictures of various texts and exercises.
The book has been devided in various parts, and not in chapters:

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1) INTRODUCTION (page I - XXVII)
• preface
• preface to the second edition
• how to use the book
• topical index
• bibliography
• abbreviations
• contents
• list of illustrations

The target of the introduction is to learn how to use the book. Everything is well done here, but it's a pity that the bibliography does almost only mention books that are out of print.
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2) GRAMMAR AND TEXTS (page 1 - 293)

• contents of grammar
• grammar
• texts I
• texts II

This is of course the actual heart of the book. The grammar is build up of three parts: pronunciation, inflexions, and syntax. The pronunciation is very profound and every possible sound is mentioned. The inflexions teach the possible forms of ANY wordtype (and is therefore very valuable), while the syntax focusses on WHEN everything is used, and also explains what "cases" are, etc. etc.
The texts come in two varieties, the one kind being texts with references to which grammar to learn, the other kind being texts without that. While the themes of the first are sometimes unsignificant, the latter are really about parts of Icelandic society. And, remember, each text comes with a separate glossary to learn.
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3) GLOSSARY (page 295-502)

The glossary may be the best reason to buy the book. In fact, it's an Icelandic/English dictionairy, with reference to the grammar part for the inflections of the words. Honestly, this is the only book which contains (something close to) a dictionairy, with the full forms of any word. Too bad it isn't English/Icelandic!
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I hope I've helped you with my review, just remember that you won't regret buying this book! =)

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